This story inspires various observations.
Least interesting by far is the hypocrisy of demonizing Russia for spending $300 million to influence international politics when the US spends a hundred times more doing the same thing.
More interesting is the relationship between our intelligence community and major media. Despite being under mandate to restrict its operations to foreign spheres, here the IC is practicing within the US.
Most interesting, albeit esoteric, is to notice how U.S. government covert operations can function as money laundering schemes that move taxpayer money into the pockets of the ruling class. For example, the CIA hides behind front organizations on foreign soil. Those organizations, in turn, need American workers. Voila! Internships for the sons and daughters of Amherst.
I get it that empire depends on intelligence and worldly influence. But to acknowledge the Machiavellian imperative is not to condone it when it is corrupted.